Hor­ror trip ends on dry land

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

BE­ING tossed about by 2m waves and 30-knot winds in the mid­dle of a ship­ping lane while a “big-arse” ship­ping freighter bore down on them was the last place Scot­tish back­packer As­lan Faisal ex­pected to find him­self.

Yet that is ex­actly where he ended up on Wed­nes­day af­ter he and seven friends agreed to go sail­ing around the Whit­sun­day is­lands with a lo­cal skip­per.

Af­ter a dis­as­trous first day sail­ing on the South­ern Run, the boat was towed into Blue Pearl Bay by the Kiana, skip­pered by Brent Chat­ter­ton.

South­ern Run sought to re­turn to Abell Point Ma­rina but in­stead ended up sail­ing out to sea at a rate of 4–5 knots.

It turned out the ves­sel was suf­fer­ing a raft of prob­lems.

Apart from hav­ing a line caught around its pro­pel­ler, South­ern Run ap­par­ently had a flat bat­tery, a non-work­ing an­chor winch, no ra­dio and sail prob­lems.

The Whit­sun­day Vol­un­teer Marine Res­cue ra­dio op­er­a­tor had to con­tact two bulk car­ri­ers and ask them to al­ter course while the VMR1 towed the South­ern Run out of the ship­ping chan­nel and back to Air­lie Beach.

Fol­low­ing a five-hour tow, the re­lieved back­pack­ers were put ashore at Abell Point Ma­rina at 7pm on Wed­nes­day.

The mat­ter is still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by wa­ter po­lice.

PLUCKED FROM DAN­GER: VMR Whit­sun­day had to res­cue and tow into shore the South­ern Run (pic­tured) af­ter it drifted into ship­ping lanes last Wed­nes­day. Photo: Con­trib­uted

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